Monday, June 01, 2009

Goody's redeems the city of Bend

Reading: Floating Dragon, Peter Straub
Writing: submitted a story to an e-zine; tons of editing (2 projects) ahead
Coffee units: 4
Notable nibbles: salad made with my own veg.

Bend sucks. Sisters makes it look pretty good by comparison, though.

Central Oregon is one of the most beautiful and interesting places on the planet. The scars of tremendous volcanic activity, little scathed by the brutal forces of water, reveal themselves at every turn. There are beautiful caves and mountains. There are fantastic rapids and waterfalls in those places water has eked out for itself. And then there are the high desert forests, smelling sweetly of pitch, vanilla and orange rind.

Too bad people live there.

I realized, returning to the pseudo-town of Sunriver after exploring downtown Bend, that Central Oregon is the place where the middle class goes to party and white trash goes to live. Then we drove through Tumalo and Sisters, where cookie cutter mansions, bloated faux-log monstrosities that repeat themselves across an irrigated landscape--and I realized that Central Oregon is where the rich keep their second homes. I thought I might puke. Then I realized I was just suffering from a sugar-induced coma, inflicted by the sweetness of the faux-Western fronts of the buildings in Sisters.

I felt bitter as we drove over the McKenzie Pass (missing out on the Dee Wright Observatory due to a road closure, perhaps fire-related). Fortunately, we had to stop in Detroit to pee and buy ice cream. There is a tiny shop called KC's there. It's in a small pink house. The ladies who own it are normal middle-aged ladies, and the ice cream is delicious, the coffee is acceptable, and the bathroom is adorable, in the way a bathroom becomes when decorated by two quirky ladies with a lot of burlap coffee sacks on their hands.

So despite the cute ground squirrels, the amazing birds and butterflies, the wonderful High Desert Museum, and the cheap rental with a hot tub, I doubt we'll be headed back to Sunriver anytime too soon. But of course, we will go back. I still want to see Big Obsidian, and even if Bend is an armpit, it's still an armpit with an old fashioned soda fountain. God damn, that chocolate coke with cream was good!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too bad you spent your time in the wrong places. Spend time where the real locals do in Bend, and you might enjoy it. Try not to be so closed minded.